Something I never noticed until this morning while reading a Times book review online, a Recommended For You section with a list of articles:

  1. THE BAY CITIZEN As Web Flourishes, Gay Groups Watch Enrollments Dwindle
  2. Spare Times for March 11-17
  3. NATIONAL BRIEFING: MIDWEST Missouri: Veterans Hospital in St. Louis Resumes Surgery
  4. OP-ED COLUMNIST Green Cuisine in Legoland
  5. Wal-Mart Has an Online Plan to Spur In-Store Sales
  6. Heat Damages Colombia Coffee, Raising Prices
  7. A Chef is Cooking
  8. Researchers Show How a Car’s Electronics Can Be Taken Over Remotely
  9. ElBaradei to Run for Egypt’s Presidency
  10. Cardinal Draws Praise in Sexual Abuse Scandal

I’m sure it won’t happen again, but I had a weird sensation that by reading the list I’d gain self-knowledge—as if an inscrutable logarithm would reveal something that Zen Buddhism, hallucinogenic drugs, est, psychotherapy, standing on my head, etc etc left in the shadows.  Sex, coffee, food, paranoia, about car electronics—nothing new there. I’m not sure what Legoland is, and I’m not interested enough to click and find out.  Actually, I don’t want to read any of the articles, but that’s neither here nor there.

It’s #5, as you probably guessed, even more than surgery resumption in St. Louis, that is the bomb.

What a swelter of feelings.  I need to confess.  In February I bought a watch at Wal-Mart in Denver.  Only $12.  It’s pretty.  It works.  Gold Bless America. It wasn’t the first time I shopped there. When I was working in the garden around the grotto of Our Lady at the convent in Great Bend, I bought quite a few plants there.  I justified it as a rescue mission.  Poor  innocents wilting on the blistering hot asphalt, longing to be in San Diego.  I was kidding myself.  I was contributing to the madness just to please Our Lady who, by all appearances, was indifferent.

I had no idea I was carrying around so much guilt.

That feels better.

By the way, the watch still keeps time, though it’s nearly impossible to read the face because the hands and the numbers are gold against a silver background.  You have to get it just right in the light.  There were ones that had dark hands and numbers, but I went for pretty, probably under the influence of  an on-line plan.



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